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Escape from America


Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess Iím a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like itís going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecuador.

Itís been fourteen years since Iíve lived there, but I still feel spiritually connected to the country and its people. I hungrily search the Internet for news of the latest presidential overthrow or volcanic eruption and even find myself still having an occasional dream in Spanish, though itís becoming harder and harder to comprende the lingo.

Ecuador has gone through some rough times lately but a quick glance at its history indicates that this is nothing out of the ordinary. Social unrest, along with political and economic instability are the three basic everyday facts that Ecuadorians can count on. Itís part of the charm of the place.

Since 1947, theyíve gone through 22 presidents, including AbdalŠ Bucaram known as El Loco (the Crazy One), whose personal hero was Adolph Hitler. Like most of his predecessors, Bucaram didnít last long and was kicked out of office in 1997 by the legislature for mental instability.

Politics and anarchy aside, I still think I could live there again, at least for a few months. Who wouldnít trade this deepest darkest Midwest winter for a verdant tropical paradise?

I recently came across a site on the Net called "Escape From America" and was surprised to find that Iím not the only one thinking Ecuador would be a pleasant place to live. In fact, because of the incredible economic problems the country is experiencing; houses, property and daily staples such as cerveza and lobster dinners can be picked up at fantastic bargains by anybody with a bag full of almighty Yankee dollars.

A guy named Lawrence Williams of Sacramento, California wrote that he had recently returned from ten days in Ecuador. He and his wife were so impressed that they were selling their house and immediately moving there. "We are arranging for eight weeks of one-on-one classes in Spanish and are applying for residency," he wrote.

"In my mind, Ecuador is the new Land of Milk and Honey," Williams went on to say. "The opportunities are unbelievable. They far outweigh the risks. Anyone with a bit of adventure in his soul should move to Ecuador as soon as possible. It would take volumes to write about all of the possible business, tourist, and personal thin .....
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Telephones

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Monday, February 12, 2001

It is Saturday and the telephone rang again for about the sixth time and it is only two p.m. The various jingles, tones, and warbling throughout the house barely stir me. The kids will get it. The phone hardly ever ri ..... 
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Tooting our own horn

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Monday, February 19, 2001

It is usually at this time of year, after the groundhogs have seen their shadows and spring seems like an eternity away, that various news organizations hold their annual conferences. This is an opportunity for us new ..... 
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Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Editorís note: The Journal invited the Houston Board of Education to respond to Ms. Tschumperís letter.

To the Editor,
In November 2000 the Houston School Board approved a three-year contract for the district superintendent. L ..... 
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Monday, February 19, 2001

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,
I felt stunned and dismayed to read in the ďNotes from a County KitchenĒ column (Feb. 12, 2001) the quip that ďA small town is where everybody not only knows which men beat their wives, but also which wives need it.Ē

N ..... 
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Henry Ulring

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Henry Ulring, 93, of Chatfield, retired manager of the Chatfield Creamery, died Tuesday, January 2, 2001, at Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield where he had resided since August 1998.

He was born March 14, 1907, in Webster, MN. On Sept. ..... 
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